Defying a Maoist boycott call, over a quarter of Jharkhand's voters exercised their franchise before noon Tuesday in the first phase of ballotting for the assembly polls.As many as 27 percent voters cast their ballot by 11 a.m. in Jharkhand, said an official.The highest polling has been recorded in the Bhavnathpur constituency, where 32 percent balloting took place.The voting began Tuesday in 13 of the 81 assembly constituencies in the first of the five-phase elections in Jharkhand in six Maoist-affected districts.Over three million voters will decide the fate of 199 candidates in the fray in the constituencies spread across six Maoist-affected districts. A total of 3,939 polling booths have been set up for the first phase.A total of 3,259,536 voters will cast their votes in first phase.
Webcasting will be done from 263 polling stations. Besides, 1,752 polling stations were declared as super sensitive and 1,104 as sensitive.Polling will close at 3 p.m. Tuesday.Voter turnout is good in Maoist affected areas despite Maoists' boycott call. The young and the old were seen queueing up at polling stations. he Bharatiya Janata Party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party are contesting in 12 constituencies each, the Congress in seven and its alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal in six.State Rural Development Minister K.N. Tripathi, Congress's state president Sukhdeo Bhagat, and former minister and Janata Dal-United candidate Sudha Chowdhary are among the prominent contenders in this round of polling.